I’ve always been a pretty active person. I mean, compared to most of the population I’d consider myself to be pretty fit. I’m not meaning to big myself up here by any stretch of the imagination, just being honest. Exercise has always featured in my life – from netball at primary school (ha, I can no longer catch a ball), to swimming and then to rowing which was a key part of me from the age of 14.
But, like most people, I walk into a CrossFit gym and that all changes. Sure I absolutely love to deadlift, the rower doesn’t phase me too much, I can run okay, etc etc… Except CROSSFit doesn’t just involve that kind of stuff, the stuff that I love. It involves upper body strength and speed… and let’s just say that me and my upper body aren’t on the best terms.
Contrary to popular belief, rowing doesn’t involve a load of arm strength (it goes legs, back, arms in that order) and combine this with an old shoulder injury and I have an issue. It’s hard.
I wouldn’t say I have that much of an ego, in fact like most girls I tend to struggle more with self-belief than the contrary. Yet, I didn’t expect it to be that bad… Last week we did a heck of a WOD:
21-15-9-6-3 reps for time (with a 20 min time cap):
– shoulders to overhead 50kg/30kg
– front squat 50kg/30kg
– burpees over the bar
I didn’t want to Rx it (30kg for women) but with a nudge from my coach to believe in myself and I did. Oh boy. This might well have been the worst workout I’ve ever done – physically and emotionally. I wanted to throw up (pretty normal), cry (not so normal) and collapse all at the same time. I’m not sure how the others did as there was only one other girl who finished wayyyy before me and I’m not sure what the guys were lifting but I felt so embarrassed. I felt ashamed that I was struggling so much with this weight when I’d consider myself to be reasonably fit. It was horrible.
Of course, afterwards everyone did the usual high fives, great job and so forth. My body began to return to normal from its crumpled heap on the floor, and I took a moment to think back through the WOD on my (rather slow) cycle home. Why had I found it so mentally tough? I am perfectly used to putting my body through pain on a regular basis, I kinda get a kick out of it. But I’m sure as hell not used to feeling so vulnerable. It was then that I realised that it was okay. The fact that I had did it and given it my all was enough. That’s what CrossFit is for after all, highlighting your weaknesses and building them stronger and stronger so that you’re no longer exposed. And who cares if everyone else did better than me? They’re not going to think less of me because of it so why on earth am I? So this Sunday I’ll be heading to handstand practice, feeling vulnerable and probably like a bit of a fool but I know it’ll be worth it.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, when 20 minutes rolled around I had 2 burpees to go…
Today I’m just asking for your thoughts…